Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, June 27, 2011

St. Cyril of Alexandria - Defending Mary As the Mother of God

Today is the feast of St. Cyril of Antioch. He played a leading role in the Council of Ephesus. In fact, he called it at the behest of Pope Celestine. (St. Cyril was a defender of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome.) The Council defined the dogma of Mary as the Mother of God. That doctrine had long been taught, but certain groups were denying that truth. Like all Marian dogma, the real focus is on Jesus. In this case, the denial by Nestorius & others that Jesus was 1 person with 2 natures, divine & human, what is called the hypostatic union.
After the Council St Cyril wrote Nestorius a letter letting him know that he had been deposed as Bishop of Constantinople. He started out the letter "To Nestorius, the new Judas". He went on to say "Know that by reason of thine impious preachings and of the disobedience to the canons" he was deposed as Bishop. Can you imagine how the liberal Catholycs who undermine authentic Catholic teaching would react to him if he were arround today? You can be sure they would be condemning him for standing up for absolute truth. St. Cyril would be right at the side of Papa Benedetto upholding him in his speaking out against relativism. & supporting Papa Benedetto's removal of Bishops that were not upholding Church teachings like Bishop William Morris of the Diocese of Toowoomba, Australia.
While St. Cyril was a defender of Mary as Mother of God, he also taught about the Eucharist & defended the "Real Presence". As you will see from this video he also put emphasis on the importances of being united with Christ:

Because of what he wrote defending & developing the truths of the Catholic Church he is considered a Greek Father of the Church. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII. He is known as the Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation). He has also been called Pillar of Faith & Seal of all the Fathers. In 1931 Pope Pius XI wrote an encyclical, Lux Veritatis, about the Council of Ephesus. In it he extolls the actions of St. Cyril in defending the orthodox faith & his obedience to the Pope. In 1944 Pope Pius XII wrote an encyclical on St Cyril, Orientalis Ecclesiae . In it he calls St. Cyril the "glory of the Eastern Church and celebrated champion of the Virgin Mother of God". In 2007 Papa Benedetto talked about St Cyril during his general audience on 3 October.

In conclusion I would like to share a part of a letter he wrote on Mary as the Mother of God followed by a prayer to Mary he wrote:

"That anyone could doubt the right of the holy Virgin to be called the Mother of God fills with astonishment. Surely she must be the Mother of God if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, and she gave birth to him! Our Lord’s disciples may not have used those exact words, but they delivered to us the belief those words enshrine, and this has also been taught us by the holy fathers. The divinely inspired Scriptures affirm that the Word of God was made flesh, that is to say, he was united to a human body endowed with a rational soul. He undertook to help the descendants of Abraham, fashioning a body for himself from a woman and sharing our flesh and blood, to enable us to see in him not only God, but also, by reason of this union, a man like ourselves. It is held, therefore, that there is in Emmanuel two entities, divinity and humanity. Yet our Lord Jesus Christ is nonetheless one, the one true Son, both God and man; not a defied man on the same footing as those who share the divine nature by grace, but true God who for our sake appeared in human form. We are assured of this by Saint Paul’s declaration: 'When the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law and to enable us to be adopted as sons.'"

(The prayer) "Hail, Mary, Mother of God, venerable treasure of the whole universe, lamp that is never extinguished, crown of virginity, support of the true faith, indestructible temple, dwelling of him whom no place can contain, O Mother and Virgin! Through you all the holy Gospels call blessed the one whom comes in the name of the Lord.

Hail, Mother of God. You enclosed under your heart the infinite God whom no space can contain. Through you the Most Holy Trinity is adored and glorified, the priceless cross is venerated throughout the universe. Through you the heavens rejoice, and the angels and archangels are filled with gladness. Through you the demons are banished, and the tempter fell from heaven. Through you the fallen human race is admitted to heaven.

Hail, Mother of God. Through you kings rule, and the only-begotten Son of God has become a star of light to those who were sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death."


  • At 27/6/11 4:28 PM , Blogger Chris Largret said...

    If Mary is the Mother of God, with no distinction between natures, then God was dead after the crucifiction? Or was it the incarnation of one from the god-head that was dead?

    I have not yet been able to wrap my head around the belief that Jesus had not yet been to the Father after his resurrection if Mary was the mother of the entirety of the Trinity. I suspect this is where Nestorius was hung up too...

    IMO, the apostles recorded with the words that they did for a reason. Jesus was God. Those who saw him had seen the Father. Yet there was more to God than met human perception.

  • At 28/6/11 2:02 PM , Blogger Al said...

    Chris, you are totally misrepresenting what the Catholic Church has taught from the beginning, as well as what I said. Christ had 2 seperate distinct natures in 1 person. & may I also remind you that when a person dies, it is only his physical body that dies. & no Mary was NOT the mother of the entire Trinity, just the Son.
    I have to ask, have you even bothered to go back & look at what the Church taught about Mary as the Mother of God, even before Ephesus, including St Athenasius, that view was considered the authentic one. Or are you simply letting your prejudices close your eyes to the truth? Nestorius' views were declared heretical & they always will be, while authentic Christianity requires you to acknowledge Mary as the Mother of God.
    BTW, have you read the book by Scott Hahn yet, I suspect not or you wouldn't be making the comments you made today


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